Chinese AI News Aggregator Unicorn Startup Toutiao, TopBuzz in US

Toutiao's TopBuzz

Video above published Jul 30, 2017, by TopBuzz. Toutiao's (domain: toutiao.com) parent company, Bytedance (domain: bytedance.com) owns TopBuzz  (domain: topbuzz.com) in the US and Brazil. TopBuzz is "the English-language equivalent of Toutiao, both of which make use of user profiling and algorithms to recommend content to users."

In January 2017, Toutiao acquired Flipagram (domain: flipagram.com), the video creation app with more than 200 million creators sharing video stories by pairing the music with personal photos and videos.

After Toutiao's Series D Financing Round at the end of 2016, with investments worth 1 billion USD by Sequoia Capital, CCB International and other institutions, Toutiao is now reported to be valued at more than 11 billion US dollars, which is more than 20 times its $500m reported valuation in 2014--wikipedia.org.

Chinese AI News Aggregator Toutiao utilizes deep learning, reports 120M DAUs and $900M revenue in 2016--WSJ.com"Apps that use algorithms to scour thousands of sources to find news and tailor feeds to individual users are China’s fastest-growing mobile segment."
Toutiao is more than just an app: In China it has a partnership with Chinese ecommerce platform JD.com that enables users to browse and purchase directly on JD.com the products featured within the Toutiao app. It has also made a strategic investment in Imaginechina, a leading Chinese press and stock commercial licensing agency. Outside of China, it has ventured into Japan, the US, Brazil and the Southeast Asian region, and has offices in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and New York. In October 2016, Toutiao invested in India’s local language app Dailyhunt’s 25 million dollars in its series D funding round. Toutiao has a controlling stake of Indonesian local-language news app Babe.

Social Pioneers: The story of App TouTiao

Video above published Oct 6, 2014, by CCTVnews n/k/a CGTN: "The growth of the IT industry in China has created new opportunities for young entrepreneurs.That has meant a virtual revolution, with new ideas and products challenging traditional business models.One such product is TouTiao. “You only receive news that you care about,” explains Zhang Yiming, founder and CEO of customized news application.Within just 90 days of its launch in 2012, the app had acquired nearly 10 million subscribers. That number has grown to 170 million as of Oct. 5, 2014.

"The key to this success is the simplicity of the concept behind TouTiao. The app essentially works as a news aggregator. However, it goes beyond mere aggregating. It analyzes user preferences through their social media accounts and then delivers customized news.“It’s meaningless to go through the massive information online. A personalized reading platform saves time for users," explains Zhang Yiming.And his contemporaries seem to echo that sentiment.Zhang Peng, founder of GeekParka, a popular tech community in Beijing, says that reading habits of people are changing and growing fragmented.

"One of the key drivers of this change in reading habits is technology. By the end of this year, China is expected to be home to over 500 million smartphone users. This means three out of 10 smartphone users in the world will be Chinese, according to a recent report by market research institute eMarketer. It is within this context that Zhang Peng believes that it is increasingly important for content providers and deliverers to focus on getting "the right information to the right person.” In such an environment, apps like TouTiao seem poised to flourish.

"Copyright controversy: However, that success would not necessarily come easy. In fact, TouTiao has had its fair share of controversies ever since it was launched. Considering that it does not generate content but only aggregates it, in its early days, several traditional media outlets had raised concerns about copyright violations.

"The controversy was around some of the content published by TouTiao, which was linked to trans-coded webpages (deep linking), instead of taking users back to the original content provider's homepage. That led to an uproar, with media originations claiming that it was a violation of their copyrights.In response, TouTiao decided not to adopt a confrontationist approach and offered to tweak its systems and work in collaboration with the organisations.Although the journey to a compromise was arduous, the controversy didn’t seem to bother Zhang Yiming too much. The man who’d started out as a programmer decided that it would be best to keep his focus on improving the product.It is not surprising then that nearly 50 percent of his staff comprises technical personnel.

"“The goal is to perfect our product though improving our technology,” he explains when talking about the future.When he started out, the goal for Zhang was to see his vision through to its logical conclusion. And what he’s learned over the years is that it takes not just creative thinking but also a qualified and dedicated team to ensure that dreams can come true."

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Is The Street Wrong? What Best Buy $BBY Is Doing Right (video)

What Best Buy Is Doing Right

Video above published Aug 29, 2017, by Fortune.com: Best Buy (NYSE: BBY)(domain: bestbuy.com), the electronics retailer, has been steadily boosting sales and pleasing investors, BUT .... Best Buy: Well That's Peculiar | SeekingAlpha.com Aug 29, 2017: "Best Buy has just reported its Q2 earnings, and the initial reaction was positive but now shares are getting crushed ... We think the Street has this one wrong."
Q2 FY18 Results:
Q2 FY18 Results Press Release (embed below):

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Tech Revenue Per Employee: .COM Registry Operator VeriSign $VRSN #4

The Top 20 Tech Companies by Revenue Per Employee (based on S&P 500 companies listed in “Technology” category) courtesy of VisualCapitalist.com:

Rank--Company--Revenue per employee
#1 Apple $1,859,000
#2 Facebook $1,621,000
#3 Alphabet $1,253,000
#4 VeriSign $1,154,000
#5 Visa $1,062,000
#6 Mastercard $906,000
#7 Broadcom $843,000
#8 Lam Research $785,000
#9 Qualcomm $772,000
#10 Microsoft $748,000
#11 Applied Materials $694,000
#12 Activision Blizzard $688,000
#13 Cisco $684,000
#14 Xilinx $640,000
#15 Yahoo! $608,000
#16 PayPal $599,000
#17 Intuit $594,000
#18 Intel $560,000
#19 KLA-Tencor $535,000
#20 AMD $521,000

ICANN has granted VeriSign a perpetual monopoly operating the .COM and .NET generic top-level domains (gTLDs). .COM is the global "gold standard" among all TLDs--as of Q1 2017, the eight largest TLDs (gTLDs & ccTLDs) per the Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief Q1 2017--

Rank--TLD--millions of registered domain names
  1. .COM 128.4 
  2. .CN (China) 21.4 
  3. .TK (Tokelau) 18.6 
  4. .DE (Germany) 16.2
  5. .NET 15.2
  6. .UK (United Kingdom) 10.6
  7. .ORG 10.4
  8. .RU (Russia) 6.4
Beginning in 2014, ICANN grossly over-expanded the number of gTLDs from 22 to more than 1200, a move that is proving to be an ill-conceived, horribly implemented, "disaster" and new gTLDs' domain name registrations are collapsing.

Although .COM domain name registrations continue to grow, .NET registrations have been declining since 2016. As of August 28, 2017, Verisign reports:

.com 130,079,989 domain name registrations
.net 15,020,269 domain name registrations
"The domain name base is the active zone plus the number of domain names that are registered but not configured for use in the respective Top-Level Domain zone file plus the number of domain names that are in a client or server hold status."--Verisign, Inc.
.com 128,542,425
.net 14,777,518

ICANN recently renewed the .NET registry agreement allowing VeriSign to increase fees 10% per annum, whereas .COM prices are restrained by virtue of Amendment 32 (pdf) to NTIA's Cooperative Agreement ($7.85 registration/renewal fee) which will expire, unless extended by NTIA, on November 30, 2018, but also further subject to the terms of an amendment (pdf) to the .COM Registry Agreement between ICANN and VeriSign.

VeriSign also provides registry services for other TLDs, internet security services, and operates 2 (A. and J.) of the internet's 13 authoritative name servers that serve the global DNS root zone.

For more information, see:

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Monday: Amazon.com, Inc. + Whole Foods, Immediately Lower Prices

Amazon Says They Will Lower Whole Foods Prices On Monday

Video published Aug 25, 2017: Fresh food is the one thing Americans have traditionally resisted buying online, but that may change with Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, which is expected to bring price cuts and a fresh food makeover. NBC.com’s Tom Costello reports for TODAY from a Whole Foods store in Bethesda, Maryland.

Amazon.com, Inc. $AMZN expects to close on its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods (domain: WholeFoodsMarket.com) on Monday, August 28, 2017, and plans to slash prices on popular items immediately after the closing.

In addition, Amazon and Whole Foods Market technology teams will begin to integrate Amazon Prime into the Whole Foods Market point-of-sale system, and when this work is complete, Prime members will receive special savings and in-store benefits. The two companies will invent in additional areas over time, including in merchandising and logistics, to enable lower prices for Whole Foods Market customers.

Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer: “We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality – we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards. To get started, we’re going to lower prices beginning Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples, including Whole Trade organic bananas, responsibly-farmed salmon, organic large brown eggs, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, and more. And this is just the beginning – we will make Amazon Prime the customer rewards program at Whole Foods Market and continuously lower prices as we invent together. There is significant work and opportunity ahead, and we’re thrilled to get started.”
"Here’s what will be new in Whole Foods Market stores on Monday and what customers can expect over time as the two companies integrate:
  • Starting Monday, Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices on a selection of best-selling staples across its stores, with much more to come. Customers will enjoy lower prices on products like Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados, organic large brown eggs, organic responsibly-farmed salmon and tilapia, organic baby kale and baby lettuce, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, creamy and crunchy almond butter, organic Gala and Fuji apples, organic rotisserie chicken, 365 Everyday Value organic butter, and much more.
  • In the future, after certain technical integration work is complete, Amazon Prime will become Whole Foods Market’s customer rewards program, providing Prime members with special savings and other in-store benefits.
  • Whole Foods Market’s healthy and high-quality private label products—including 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market, Whole Paws and Whole Catch—will be available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now.
  • Amazon Lockers will be available in select Whole Foods Market stores. Customers can have products shipped from Amazon.com to their local Whole Foods Market store for pick up or send returns back to Amazon during a trip to the store.
"This is just the beginning – Amazon and Whole Foods Market plan to offer more in-store benefits and lower prices for customers over time as the two companies integrate logistics and point-of-sale and merchandising systems.
"Whole Foods Market will continue to grow its team and create jobs in local communities as it opens new stores, hires new team members, and expands its support of local farmers and artisans. The company will maintain operations under the Whole Foods Market brand, preserve its high standards and commitment to providing the finest natural and organic foods, and continue to source from trusted vendors and partners around the world. John Mackey will remain as CEO and Whole Foods Market’s headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas." [source: Amazon Press Room - Press Release]


News Review | Report: ICANN's New gTLDs As Global DNS Malware

News Review | ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2017-08-27) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) Report: ICANN's New gTLDs As Global DNS Malware, 2) Names, Domains & Trademarks: .COM Still King, Verisign, GoDaddy, Ted Cruz, ICANN & NTIA, New gTLDs Reality Check, .GAY, .MUSIC, 4) ICYMI Internet Domain News, 5) Most Read Posts.

1) ICANN's new gTLDs as global DNS malware--see "Statistical Analysis of DNS Abuse in gTLDs" below--ICANN Public Comment periods closing in September:
Figure 23, Report p. 13
SIDN Labs and TU Delft deliver final report for ICANN study | sidnlabs.nl: "... An interesting finding of our study is a clear upward trend in the absolute number of phishing and malware domains in new gTLDs while these numbers remain relatively constant in legacy gTLDs. Also, we discovered that new gTLDs have affected the number of domains used for spam in legacy gTLDs: abused domains in new gTLDs do not increase the number of total malicious registrations. Instead we observe a shift from legacy gTLDs to new gTLDs. Our findings suggest that some new gTLDs have increasingly become a target for malicious actors. For example, Spamhouse blacklisted at least 10% of all registered domains in as many as 15 new gTLDs at the last quarter of 2016See the report [pdf] for more details ... We conducted the SADAG study for the Competition, Consumer Choice, and Consumer Trust Review Team. The CCT Review Team was established to review how the New gTLD Program impacts competition, consumer choice and consumer trust." (emphasis and links added)

Let's review all the ways ICANN's new gTLDs are now known to be global DNS malware:

1. New gTLDs are known to  "break stuff" and cause "collisions;"

2. New gTLDs are known to "fail to work as expected" on the internet--the so-called "Universal Acceptance" (UA) problem--which ICANN knew about long before (since at least 2003) it expanded the gTLDs from just 22 to over 1200 beginning in early 2014, which is why ICANN tried to absolve itself of liability--even though it has failed to warn consumers (registrants)--see Base Registry Agreement Section 1.2:
1.2   Technical Feasibility of String.  While ICANN has encouraged and will continue to encourage universal acceptance of all top-level domain strings across the Internet, certain top-level domain strings may encounter difficulty in acceptance by ISPs and webhosters and/or validation by web applications.  Registry Operator shall be responsible for ensuring to its satisfaction the technical feasibility of the TLD string prior to entering into this Agreement. (emphasis added)
3. Absolute unlimited monopolistic pricing powers granted to new gTLD registry operators, including the right to unlimited increases in domain name registration and renewal fees--ICANN and its "ICANN community" (which is effectively controlled by registry operators and registrars) rejected the recommendation and advice of the the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division to protect consumers (registrants). New gTLD Registry Operators are free to "rape and pillage" the global domain names marketplace and consumers (registrants) worldwide, thanks to ICANN.

4. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has warned registrants to avoid new gTLDs due to ICANN's new gTLDs' flawed and overreaching RPMs.

5. And now, the icing on ICANN's global malware cake, SIDN Labs and Delft University of Technology's report (pdf), characterizing new gTLDs as "phishing and malware domains."

Is it any wonder some desperate new gTLD registry operators have tried giving away new gTLD domain names for free? Is it any wonder that new gTLD domain name registrations are collapsing--new gTLD Statistics by Top-Level Domains | ntldstats.com--new gTLDs' registrations are now "falling off a cliff":
 New gTLDs' domain name registrations collapsing
This is what happens when you let special interests (a/k/a lobbyists) run internet governance via a governance model known as "multistakeholderism," limiting and excluding governments from their proper role in protecting the public interest. Add to that the dysfunctional ICANN organization which created for its new gTLDs, a new "Global Domains Division" (try to find any reference to that in the ICANN Articles or Bylaws), primarily staffed by incompetent cronies of ICANN's equally inept ex-CEO who quit 3½ years into a 5-year contract. As I've said before, ICANN has proven to be unfit for the purpose for which it was originally intended.

2) Names, Domains & Trademarks
•  .COM Still King10 tips for choosing the perfect domain | SearchEngineLand.com August 22, 2017: "... 3. Go for a .COM [domain name]--If you are serious about building a long-term brand online, there is nothing better than a .com. Using a 301-redirect to drive traffic to a .net or .org is totally fine, but owning the .com or the equivalent TLD for your target market country is critical ..."

•  VerisignWarren Buffett's Stake In The Internet--"VeriSign [domain: verisign.com, NASDAQ: VRSNis the manager of the .com and .net domain registers - they serve as a monopolistic gatekeeper to the Internet. There are three catalysts for this company's stock appreciation: pricing powers, the Internet's global expansion, and share buybacks. I believe this stock's long-term risk/reward ratio is greatly weighted towards reward ..."--SeekingAlpha.com  Aug. 22, 2017.

•  GoDaddy (domain: godaddy.com) (NYSE: GDDY) announced Tuesday that CEO Blake Irving would retire effective December 31, 2017, and Scott Wagner, GoDaddy President and COO, would assume the CEO role thereafter. Irving will continue to serve on GoDaddy's Board of Directors through June 2018.

•  Ted Cruz, ICANN & NTIATed Cruz should stop obstructing Trump’s [NTIA] nominee [David Redl] for telecom chief | rstreet.org by Joe Kane, Aug 22, 2017: "... Redl has been the subject of a largely unrelated fight waged by the junior senator from Texas over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority [IANA]. Cruz continues to raise objections about the now-completed transfer of stewardship of IANA functions from NTIA to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers [ICANN]. ICANN is a private, nonprofit company ..." [Editor's note: Cruz has said he wants "assurances" from Redl, and frankly, I would have expected no less.]

•   New gTLDs Reality CheckThe Great Domain Correction of 2017? | pinkybrand.com"... China. China is HARD. You will not be successful there, as a foreign registry operator, at a minimum, unless you understand that you will likely lose money or barely break even for several years and are prepared to deal with that reality. You must be in it for the long term. Long term, at a minimum, is 5 years of sweating it out (flying back and forth on a near monthly basis) before things *might* work out. Over the short to medium term the domain industry is likely to shed inefficient registry and registrar operators and investors, especially some of those who banked on new domain extensions (new gTLDs) that have no real consumer traction—which are many— and can no longer, or are just unwilling, to fund the basic holding/operating costs, let alone fund any marketing team or person. For sure there is an easily foreseen correction—if not outright registration numbers recession—going on right now for some in the domain industry ... This includes ICANN, that may need to shed some personnel as a result of what may be "The Great Domain Correction of 2017"..."

•  .GAYRequest 17-3: Dotgay LLC | BAMC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 17-3 | ICANN.org 23 Aug 2017: "BAMC [Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee] recommends that the Board deny Request 17-3."

•  .MUSIC:  Request 17-2: DotMusic Limited | BAMC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 17-2 - ICANN.org 23 Aug 2017: "BAMC recommends that the Board deny Request 17-2."

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
  • "We’re currently living in a time digital strategists have deemed the data wild west. The next decade the data policies set could determine the basis of digital rights for the foreseeable future."--TechCrunch.com
  • Inciting Violence vs Freedom of Speech | Namecheap.com: "... The real danger in my opinion is what lies invisible yet is the most dangerous force that anyone of us will ever know. That is the insidious and dangerous force of power. The power to control our thoughts, our privacy, our opinions and most importantly our speech that lies within the dark nature of absolute power itself and takes over seemingly well meaning politicians, presidents, governments, movements that then use this power against us. This is the real danger that we must all be watchful for ..."--Richard Kirkendall, Namecheap CEO

[Editor's note: Investing has moved to the weekly Tech Review.]

5) Most read posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
1. News Review: Last Round of ICANN New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation?
2. Explaining Swings in Bitcoin’s Price, Cryptocurrency Primer (video)

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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Tech Review | Chrome OS: Say Goodbye To Microsoft Windows Forever

Tech Review (TR 2017-08-26)--Domain Mondo's weekly review of tech news:
Features • 1) Chrome OS: Say Goodbye To Microsoft Windows Forever, 2) Cash is King, 3)Trump's Tweeting Worth $2B to Twitter $TWTR, 4) Investing: Unintended Bets,  Streaming Media Content Wars, AT&T debt, 5)ICYMI Tech News.

1)  Chrome OS: Say Goodbye To Microsoft Windows Forever

Google Chromebooks Are Moving Onto Microsoft's Core Customer Turf: Big Business. Chrome Enterprise will integrate with Microsoft Active Directory and VMware AirWatch software. Video above published Aug 23, 2017, by CNBC.com.

If you are sick of hearing or reading stuff like Windows 10 Insiders: Microsoft won't tell you about known bugs anymore | ZDNet.com, there's a way out, even for enterprises (large businesses).

For large businesses adopting Chrome OS devices, Google now offers Chrome Enterprise subscriptions, which cost $50 per device per year, rebranding and upgrading what was formerly known as Chromebooks for Work.

Other business options are available, see
Also note Google plans to launch a new Chromebook Pixel, mini version of Google Home alongside new Pixel phones | androidpolice.com.

But caveat: Chromebooks will not move into business if they cannot be bought | ZDNet.com"When it comes to Chromebooks, there are those available in the United States, and then there are those for the rest of the world ... It's a strange state of affairs when OEMs in Asia do not make a selection of their products available on their side of the Pacific, particularly when we are talking about the lower end of the market that has myriad configurations and models available otherwise. With such a haphazard approach, it seems the business push for Chromebooks is not wholehearted, which seems to be the pattern of many projects from Google."

2) Cash is King--America Wasted $160 Million Trying to Get Afghanistan to Use E-Payments | Motherboard.vice.com--"... Agents across the country told SIGAR the same story: cash is fast, cash is efficient, cash is king. The unspoken truth is that cash is good for a quick buck on the side and cheaper for everyone involved. You don't pay taxes on transactions you don't report ..." See also Amazon Top Up - In Store | Amazon.co.ukAmazon Cash comes to UK as Amazon Top Up, allowing users to load between £5 and £250 onto their Amazon UK accounts at certain retailers.

3)  What Is Trump Worth to Twitter? One Analyst Estimates $2 Billion | Bloomberg.com reports that "Without Donald Trump, Twitter Inc. could lose almost a fifth of its value,citing Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. [domain: mchny.com] analyst James Cakmak, who said Twitter $TWTR would lose as much as $2 billion in market value if @realDonaldTrump quit tweeting.

4) Investing
  • Avoid Unintended Bets in Your Investment Portfolio | cfainstitute.org“Be conscious what’s driving the risk in your portfolio ... Don’t tell me you underweight Apple without realizing that you are underweighting the technology sector without buying other tech stocks, or that you are making a size bet, or a bet against trends in consumer electronics. Those are all the implied bets when you underweight the largest name in your universe.”
  • The Streaming Media Content Wars: Apple $AAPL vs Amazon $AMZN, Netflix $NFLX, Google/YouTube, et al: Apple TV: Go Freemium | SeekingAlpha.com 
  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) (domain: att.com): the nearly completed merger with Time Warner will expand the debt load massively, and the debt will be the single greatest risk to the company--SeekingAlpha.com

5) ICYMI Tech News:
  • Amazon to cut Whole Foods prices, escalating grocery turf war | Reuters.com
  • Gmail tip: Gmail does not recognise a plus sign "+" in an email address or any words after it--"If your email address is inewsisgreat @gmail.com, emails sent to inewsisgreat+informative @gmail.com will also be received."--inews.co.uk. Same thing applies if you are using Google Apps email (G Suite) via your own custom domain name. The above tip allows you to categorize and sort incoming subscription, group, etc., emails before you have even read them.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo  

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Salesforce $CRM FY18 Q2 Results, Highlights Video, Webcast Replay

Salesforce FY18 Q2 Highlights:

Video above published Aug 22, 2017: "Thank you to the entire Salesforce Ohana for an exciting Q2! We've been on an unimaginable adventure for 18 years. None of this is possible without our customers, our partners, our employees and all of our stakeholders. Together we are Salesforce. Check out all the highlights from Q2 and discover more at www.salesforce.com."


salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) (domain: salesforce.com) is an American cloud computing and applications provider company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Marc Benioff is CEO (since Nov 2001). Subsidiaries: Pardot, Heroku, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, MORE.

Press release Aug 22, 2017:
- Raises FY18 Revenue Guidance by $100 Million to $10.35 Billion to $10.40 Billion, up 23% to 24% Year-Over-Year
- Second Quarter Revenue of $2.56 Billion, up 26% Year-Over-Year, 25% in Constant Currency
- Second Quarter Operating Cash Flow of $331 Million, up 32% Year-Over-Year
- Deferred Revenue of $4.82 Billion, up 26% Year-Over-Year, 25% in Constant Currency
- Unbilled Deferred Revenue of Approximately $10.4 Billion, up 30% Year-Over-Year

Transcript (pdf); Webcast replay.

Quarterly summary deck embed below:

See also: salesforce.com/products/platform/products/identity/

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Brookfield Property Partners $BPY CEO on the Impact of E-Commerce

Brookfield Property CEO on the Impact of E-Commerce

Video above published Aug 18, 2017, by Bloomberg.com: Brookfield Property Partners CEO & Brookfield Asset Management Senior Managing Partner Brian Kingston discusses e-commerce, Amazon, logistics, supply chains, warehouses, with Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker.
  • Domain Name: bpy.brookfield.com

Infographic: E-Commerce Drives FMCG Industry Growth in the U.S. | Statista source: Statista.com

E-Commerce Drives FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) Industry Growth in the U.S. (see chart above, despite the fact that e-commerce accounts for less than 15 percent of total sales for most FMCG categories in the U.S.). FMCG sales at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States declined by $3 billion in the first quarter of 2017, according to Nielsen.

Brookfield Property CEO Says Don't Count Retail Out

Video above published Aug 18, 2017, by Bloomberg.com: Brookfield Property Partners CEO and Brookfield Asset Management Senior Managing Partner Brian Kingston discusses the state of retail and contrarian investing with Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker.

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Disney CEO Robert Iger Sees Dramatic Shift in Media Consumption (video)

Disney’s Iger Sees Dramatic Shift in Media Consumption

Videos above and below published Aug 8, 2017:  Disney $DIS Chairman and CEO Robert Iger discusses the decision to stop selling movies to Netflix $NFLX and begin offering ESPN sports programming and family films directly to consumers via two new streaming services. He speaks with David Westin on “Bloomberg Technology.”
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Principal Domain Names: Disney.com and TheWaltDisneyCompany.com
  • Stock exchange: symbol  |  NYSE: DIS
Disney’s Iger Won’t Say If He Looked at Buying Netflix $NFLX

Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger discusses Netflix, disruption by digital technology, and the new ESPN online service. He speaks with David Westin on “Bloomberg Technology.”

The Walt Disney Company, also known as Disney, is a U.S.-based diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate, headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.
  • Founded: October 16, 1923, Los Angeles, CA
  • Subsidiaries: Pixar, Walt Disney World, Disney Store, MORE
  • Founders: Walt Disney, Roy O. Disney
Infographic: Disney's 7-Billion Dollar Year | Statista source: Statista.com

Disney Is A Canary - Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) | SeekingAlpha.com"... problem: The content cost per subscriber for Comcast (and Comcast-like entities) is much, much higher than for Netflix. It’s roughly 10x higher (~$207 per quarter per sub at Comcast, ~$19 per quarter per sub at Netflix) ... if the content industry was to let Netflix conquer the entire content-consuming market, the entire content industry would have to live on 1/10th the revenues. That’s not going to happen .... the price difference is anchored on much lower content costs which seem highly unsustainable."
Infographic: International Netflix Subscriptions Surpass U.S. | Statista source: Statista.com

Disney's Challenges to Building a Streaming Future

Video above published Aug 9, 2017: Barton Crockett, analyst at FBR Capital Markets, examines the challenges that Walt Disney Co. faces in build its own streaming media services. He speaks with Bloomberg's Mark Barton on "Bloomberg Markets."

See also: The Walt Disney Company to Acquire Majority Ownership of BAMTech | thewaltdisneycompany.com

feedback & comments via twitter @DomainMondo



Explaining Swings in Bitcoin’s Price, Cryptocurrency Primer (video)

Explaining the Swings in Bitcoin’s Price I Fortune

Video published Aug 17, 2017, by Fortune.com: Bitcoin has been on a tear since the start of 2017. But according to Fortune’s Jen Wieczner, the cryptocurrency is due for a downturn. Supply and Demand, Hype and Scarcity.

A Primer on Cryptocurrency

Video above published Aug 17, 2017, by L2inc.com: By popular demand, Scott Galloway and Aswath Damodaran discuss topics in cryptocurrency, from why it's impossible to value, to why people choose Bitcoin over gold.

0:01  The number one requested topic among users of Winners and Losers is:
0:07  cryptocurrencies.
0:08  Aswath, tell us more about cryptocurrencies and how you price and/or value them.
0:13  The first thing is you cannot value currency. You can price them.
0:16  Real quick - difference between value and pricing.
0:21  The difference between value and pricing is value you try to estimate what you get as cashflow.
0:25  So when you value a business you project out what the business will generate as cash flow.
0:28  So you can value cash flow generating assets.
0:31  But gold, currencies, Bitcoin are not cash flow generating assets.
0:35  You ask me what the value of gold is.
0:37  I don't know but I can price gold and we price currencies relative to each other.
0:41  And that's, I think, the opening to think about cryptocurrencies and why they've risen so much over the last few years.
0:48  If you think about gold,
0:49  let's think about gold - the alternative to paper currencies for hundreds of years.
0:55  When people lost trust in paper currency because all you have is a piece of paper,
1:00  it's all based on trust.
1:02  Doesn't every fiat currency eventually collapse throughout history
1:05  Fiat currencies vary widely.
1:08  In France if you gave me a Venezuelan Bolivar I'm probably better off just using it as toilet paper than trying to spend it.
1:12  So when we talk about fiat currencies not all fiats are equally trustworthy.
1:17  So when we lose trust in currencies, we go elsewhere.
1:21  For the longest time the place we went was gold.
1:24  I think what's changed is for younger people the place they go when they don't trust paper currencies is now cryptocurrency.
1:31  But help me - I understand, theoretically as an old guy
1:36  you go to gold and it can be used for fillings or jewelry.
1:39  What is the underlying guarantee and limit of a cryptocurrency?
1:44  Let's face it, the people who bought gold didn't want to use it,
1:48  they wanted to sell it to somebody else at a higher price.
1:50  It's a pure pricing game. The reason people have historically bought gold is not because they think gold has a physical use
1:57  but because they think it'll have enough of a pricing attached to it that they can sell it to somebody at a higher price.
2:03  So it's the illusion that it's become a store of value.
2:05  Exactly.
2:06  Okay so help me price Bitcoin and Ethereum.
2:10  I think the key to think about is if you have enough of the population losing trust
2:15  because we lost trust in governments and central banks and who can blame people for losing trust in them
2:20  and if you're 35, 30 or 25, you have no interest in pricing gold and playing the gold game,
2:27  you actually think you have an inside track on playing the pricing game with Bitcoin
2:32  and one of the things that always strikes me when I talk to people in this space
2:37  who are cryptocurrency fanatics is they think they know more than they do.
2:41  They think they understand everything about block chains and who
2:44  owns what and where the pricing is going and that's always a piece of the pricing game:
2:48  people who are overconfident about the capacity to forecast price.
2:53  We don't need very many people for the pricing to kind of do what it's done
2:56  which is if four or five percent of the population has lost trust and is paranoid.
3:00  So Trump is the best thing to happen for cryptocurrencies.
3:05  Collectively, globally. You could argue that governments across the globe...
3:12  It's I think a problem.
3:13  So you think in any sort of crisis, more missile tests coming out of North Korea, cryptocurrencies similar to gold go up, people stick cryptocurrencies under the mattress.
3:22  In fact one of the most interesting things about this bull market is it's a very differentiated market.
3:27  Half the market thinks that everything is cheap,
3:30  the other half thinks everything is increased.
3:33  I've never seen a divide as large as I have in the market that we're in
3:36  which is between the Bulls and the Bears.
3:38  There's almost no connecting point and it's very political. It's more political than economic.
3:44  Tell me who you voted for in the last election, I can tell you whether you're bullish or bearish.
3:48  That's how much of a correlation there is between politics and what you think about the market now.
3:53  which is not a healthy place to be.
3:56  So I think that even though markets have been going up,
3:59  the subset of people who think that markets are overpriced is a fairly large one and it's very intense
4:04  and they believe this for three, four, five years and that's the group that's increasingly leaving stocks
4:11  and they're saying well I can't go to bonds, I'm getting 2%,
4:14  what am I going to put my money in where I can make some money in the future?
4:18  A 25 year old has a hundred bucks. Mock portfolio - just create an asset allocation for me and a 55 year old.
4:25  The tool is very simple: you want to spread your bets.
4:27  Time is your ally.
4:29  So the 25 year old, don't try to time the market, don't tell me the markets you know, too high, too low, it doesn't matter.
4:36  You've got 40 years to play this game, just take your money, make your asset allocation.
4:42  So you want a portfolio that looks like this.
4:45  If I took the market cap of every traded asset in the world put in a pie chart
4:48  I want the pie chart of your portfolio to look very much like that.
4:53  Diversification and low cost.
4:55  Exactly.
4:55  55 year old.
4:57  55 year old you gotta worry more about this,
4:59  especially about the fact that if you have a shock to the market you might not be able to make that money back before you need it for retirement.
5:06  So 55 you know, the first question I would ask is hey do you still have an income?
5:11  If you're already retired at 55 the kind of advice I'm going to give you is going to be very different
5:15  than you give a 55 year old with an income stream still coming from working
5:18  because let's face it, a lot of 55 year olds have 15 years of work life still left in them.
5:24  So I think that you've got to get more cautious,
5:27  but the old know once you get to be 65 everything's got to be in cash.
5:31  You got to rethink because a lot of 65 year olds are still making enough of an income
5:34  that they don't need to touch their portfolios yet.
5:37  So it really is a question of do you depend on your portfolio for your cash needs
5:41  and if the answer is yes
5:42  then I'm going to increasingly shift your weight from any kind of risky asset class
5:46  because there is no safe place in the world where you can put your money in, make an 8% return and still draw cash every year
5:53  and not worry about your principal being affected.
5:55  Thanks very much, Professor Aswath Damodaran.
5:58  And more information at Damodaran.com.

See also: The ABCs of BITCOIN .... James Altucher | LinkedIn.com

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Solar Eclipse LIVE, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse Map August 21, 2017
Solar Eclipse 21 August 2017 Map
On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the continental United States from coast to coast for the first time in 99 years. If skies are clear, people in North America will be able to see a partial or total solar eclipse. You can find out what the eclipse will look like in your area, and make sure you have a safe method to watch.

You can also tune into nasa.gov/eclipselive throughout the day on Aug. 21 to see the eclipse including a NASA TV show, views from spacecraft, aircraft, and more than 50 high-altitude balloons.

More eclipse information at:
source: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

feedback & comments via twitter @DomainMondo



News Review: Last Round of ICANN New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation?

News Review | ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2017-08-20) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) Last Round of ICANN New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation? 2) Other ICANN news: a. FY18 budget, b. ALAC, c. UDRP, d. Quote of the Week, e. SO/AC accountability, f. Theatre of the Absurd, 3) Names, Domains & Trademarks: It only gets worse for ICANN & new gTLDs, 4) ICYMI: Free Speech & Internet Freedom, 5) Investing: Gold, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, 6) Most Read.

1) Is This The Last Round of ICANN New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation?
UPDATE Sept 10, 2017: New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation--Plaintiff DCA (DotConnectAfrica Trust) Survives ICANN's Motion for Summary Judgment--"ICANN's motion for summary judgment is denied as to the second, third, fourth, fifth, and tenth causes of action. The motion is granted as to the remaining causes of action."[p.10] [Dated Aug 9, 2017](emphasis added)."
Graphic of New gTLD .AFRICA
Excerpt from ICANN's Reply In Support of ICANN's Motion for Summary Judgment p.2 (filed Aug 4, 2017)
Excerpt from Declaration of Sophia Bekele Eshete (highlighting added)
Bottom Line: Either the Covenant Not To Sue in the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook is enforceable or not. Previously, the California Superior Court on February 3, 2017 (pdf), denied Plaintiff DotConnectAfrica Trust's (DCA) Motion for Preliminary Injunction citing the U.S. District Court Order in Ruby Glen, LLC v ICANN (pdf), holding that the "covenant not to sue" in the Guidebook is enforceable, thereby allowing ICANN to delegate .AFRICA in favor of registry operator ZA Central Registry.

Recent filings in the DCA vs ICANN et al California Superior Court action:

ICANN's Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment [PDF, 9.08 MB] Aug 4, 2017
Plaintiff's Opposition to ICANN's Motion for Summary Judgment [PDF, 689 KB] July 26, 2017
ICANN's Motion for Summary Judgment [PDF, 3.33 MB] May 26, 2017

2) Other ICANN news
 ICANN FY18 Operating Plan and Budget
a. ICANN FY18 Operating Plan and Budget adopted by the Board, June, 2017 (pdf) excerpt below is ICANN FY18 (ending June 30, 2018) funding:
Apparently ICANN expects to lose one-fourth of all registrars in FY18 (ending June 2018)
b. ICANN At-Large Community / At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC): "This fully updated Final Report contains a list of recommendations which Reviewers believe reflect the needs of At-Large Community and for which there is sufficient community consensus. There were some cases where agreement with the current At-Large leadership was not reached, but which Reviewers strongly believe need to be implemented in the interests of the At-Large Community and the ICANN organisation as a whole."--Review of the ICANN At-Large Community Final Report (pdf), 2 May 2017, p.6. Is "current leadership" the core problem inside ALAC?

c.  Where to Search UDRP Decisions | circleid.com"Unfortunately, there is no longer an official, central repository of all UDRP decisions that is freely available online." [Editor's note: ICANN created the UDRP (note the broken links on that ICANN webpage), but no longer keeps a central repository of UDRP decisions for quality control oversight and review for consistency, education of trademark and domain name registrants, etc. ICANN would rather pay bloated salaries and benefits to the inept cronies* of ICANN ex-CEO Fadi Chehade and his "sidekick" ICANN Global Domains President Akram Atallah, rather than spend money doing its job competently for the global internet community. What would it take for ICANN to do its job properly in this regard? Just one lawyer who could work remotely from his/her home, provided ICANN required all UDRP providers to file their decisions electronically via a searchable, sortable, ICANN database interface.]
*IoNmag.asia"only one member of the C-suite hired since [ICANN CEO] Chehade came on board has not been a friend or former co-worker [of Chehade and Atallah] ... Every new vice president based in the Los Angeles headquarters has been a friend or former co-worker. Frustrated with the community intransigence, Chehade hired from within the community to deal with the community, while his group in Los Angeles became increasingly separated from the broader organization and began to think of themselves as almost a separate company." (emphasis added)

d. Quote of the week:
"I'm sure quite a lot of "professional" analysis and discourse has led to serious errors of policy at ICANN. I'm sure a lot of professionals made predictions about new gTLDs and appropriate strategies, for themselves and their clients, all now proven wrong. Many folks lost money, time, and careers due to those mistakes, betting the wrong way. They're looking for a new direction, superior analysis, and better solutions than those of the past ... I think the evidence-based policy making (as opposed to the flawed policymaking at ICANN that got us here, which was based on incorrect conjectures and weak analysis) will ultimately lead us in the right direction."--George Kirikos [gnso-rpm-wg] (emphasis added)
e. CCWG Accountability WS2 SO/AC Accountability Subgroup Meeting #29, 17 August 2017,
excerpt re: comment submitted by editor of DomainMondo.com:

f. Theatre of the Absurd ICANN-style: Enhancing ICANN Accountability WS2 Jurisdiction  SubGroup Meeting #42, 16 August 2017:
"This is Greg [Greg Shatan, WS2 Jurisdiction SubGroup Rapporteur]. If I could just respond first, we have not yet reached the discussion of the path forward proposal. We will get to it after this discussion. I'd like on see if anybody else agrees with Thiago's [Thiago Braz Jardim Oliveira, Brazilian diplomat, member of GAC] world view of the group. I find it a conspiracy theory and I don't indulge in conspiracy theories and but everyone is entitled to their opinion and worldview, just not entitled to their own facts"(emphasis added). Listen to the Adobe Connect Video Replay or mp3 audio for more.

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
It only gets worse for ICANN & its new gTLDs (new generic top-level domains): Namecheap will discontinue several Uniregistry [Frank Schilling] and XYZ [Daniel Negari] domain extensions [new gTLDs] | OnlineDomain.com, [Editor's note: discontinued new gTLDs also include .RICH and .LUXURY, complete list here].
Discontinued Domains & Price Changes | Namecheap.com Blog: "... we do have to discontinue support of TLDs [top-level domains] from time to time. Some of our TLDs currently face significant price increases from the registry. As a result, we have decided to discontinue the sale of these [new gTLD] domains to protect our customers." (emphasis added) [Editor's note: don't look to ICANN for any consumer (registrant) protection, inept ICANN is the source of the problem.]
And Namecheap is not alone--GoDaddy also drops Uniregistry new gTLDs' domain names--"GoDaddy strives to provide its customers with great product experiences wherever possible. After careful consideration, we decided to stop offering new Uniregistry [new gTLD] domain names for sale because their pricing changes caused frustration and uncertainty with our customers."--Mike McLaughlin, EVP & GM, Domains, GoDaddy Inc., as reported in DomainNameWire.com, August 18, 2017.

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
•  Free Speech & Internet Freedom: internet intermediaries, e.g., GoDaddy, Google, and CloudFlare, barring neo-Nazis sets dangerous precedents for silencing legitimate voices — Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression | Electronic Frontier Foundation | eff.org.

•  Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government block on social media images an appalling attack on freedom of expression | Amnesty International | amnesty.org

•  China targets Alibaba's Taobao, other e-commerce sites, in VPN crackdown | Reuters.com

•  China ranks 134th in global internet speed while Taiwan comes in 3rd | Shanghaiist.com

•  India: With Internet Archive Ban, Bollywood's Fight Against Piracy Threatens Online Freedom Again | TheWire.in

•  U.S. Senate Crackdown on Online Sex Trafficking Hits Opposition | NYTimes.com

•  Apple and Amazon are helping China censor the internet | Slate.com

•  China is perfecting a new method for suppressing dissent on the internet | Vox.com

•  The War Over Internet Freedom Heats Up | capitalandmain.com: "The juggernaut of deregulation under the current administration threatens to crush the net neutralists."

5) Investing
Gold a safe haven? "... from July 1997 to September 1998, when the Asian financial crisis brought devaluations to half a dozen countries, the Russian ruble collapsed, and hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management was bailed out. Far from gaining from safe-haven flows, the yellow metal fell 13 percent ...."--Bloomberg.com
How about Bitcoin or other Cryptocurrencies?"99% of Cryptocurrencies are total scams. And, yes, Cryptocurrencies are in a bubble .... there's a lot of hype and scammers out there [Editor's note: sounds just like ICANN and the new gTLDs' hucksters in 2014]. We've seen this story at least twice before in past 20 years and many people have gotten hurt ..."--James Altucher | LinkedIn.com [Editor's note: Altucher goes on to note one can make money if you can identify which cryptocurrencies are legitimate and then successfully trade on the "volatility" in pricing--a challenging feat for most investors. You've Been Warned!]
For cautious investors, I suggest reading thoroughly: How to Bet on a Bond Market Collapse | USNews.com: "... Gundlach warned that rising interest rates will negatively impact stock prices as well ..."

6) Most read posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
1. Tech Review: Amazon Plans to Disrupt Payments Industry (video)
2.  News Review: Uneducated and Illiterate, the Internet's Next Big User Group
3.  iPhone Generation: Lonely & Depressed Losers? (video)
4.  Alibaba Group $BABA Q2 2017 Earnings LIVE Webcast Aug 17 Replay

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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